Tag Archives: addiction recovery

At Risk for Relapse?

Posted on September 2, 2014

7 Risk factors for relapse
-Bill Abbott, SMART Recovery® Facilitator

7 Risks for Relapse

Over the course of time I’ve observed several sets of circumstances that seem to increase the risk of a person with an addictive problem to sustain a relapse – that is, falling back to the former behavior. I must honestly state that this is an observational piece and I am not sure that there is any science behind it. Nevertheless it certainly does make sense that some of these circumstances do heighten the risk for  a temporary or even permanent stepping out of the stages-of-change process which we call addiction recovery.

7 Risk Factors for Relapse

      Persisting Frustration
      Intense Emotion
      Social Disconnection

    What follows is a short description of each of these.

    Fantasy By this I mean thinking about a possible future scenario Continue reading

    Celebrate SMART Recovery’s 20th Anniversary

    Posted on August 26, 2014

    Annual Conference
    September 26-28, 2014 Washington, D.C.
    Exploring the Power of Choice

    Registration Deadline: August 28, 2014.

    SMART Recovery Annual ConferenceWould you like a deeper connection to SMART Recovery? Interested in celebrating SMART’s 20th anniversary and networking with other volunteers? Want to learn more about the science behind SMART? Interested in SMART’s plans for the future?

    The 2014 SMART Annual Conference will be held in the heart of Washington, D.C., at the Grosvenor Auditorium at the National Geographic Headquarters. In keeping with the spirit of the National Geographic, the theme is Exploring the Power of Choice. This conference is geared to inform and inspire, with session topics covering SMART tools, organizational updates, future plans, and with addiction recovery professionals speaking on mindfulness, recovery advocacy, history of recovery, and more.

    Volunteers, online and face-to-face meeting participants, Board members and friends of SMART Recovery can expect to enjoy an impressive line-up of accomplished speakers and topics:


      Michael Botticelli, Acting Director, ONDCP Opening Remarks

      Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP, President: “SMART 101”

      Shari Allwood, Exec Director: SMART Worldwide

      William L. White, Sr. Research Consultant: History of the Recovery Movement (rec.)

      Jonathan von Breton, MA, CCMHC: SMART Tools

      Peter Gaumond, ONDCP: Recovery Advocacy

      Steve Gumbley, MA, ACDP II: Recovery Advocacy

      Hank Robb, Ph.D., ABPP: Becoming Mindful

      …and more

    Optional Excursion

    An optional sightseeing tour of the Washington D.C. area will kick off the event Continue reading

    Overcoming Addictions – Recovery Web App

    Posted on August 19, 2014

    Scientifically Supported Recovery Option

    Overcoming AddictionsLooking for a personalized, structured plan of attack for making positive changes in support of your addiction recovery?

    Overcoming Addictions (OA) is a new alternative in the spectrum of recovery options. It is a confidential and interactive web app that can help you achieve and maintain abstinence from addictions.

    OA is an abstinence-oriented, cognitive behavioral, internet application based on the program of SMART Recovery. SMART Recovery is an organization that has adapted empirically supported treatment strategies for use in a mutual help framework with in-person meetings, online meetings, a forum, and other resources. Continue reading

    How to Help a Loved One Find Addiction Recovery

    Posted on August 12, 2014

    Alternatives for Family & Friends
    -Roxanne A., SMART Recovery® Facilitator

    depression Chances are you were never taught how to manage a relationship with someone who is struggling with a substance abuse problem. You may find that without the necessary skills, your role as a family member or friend of someone with addiction becomes increasingly stressful as the addiction progresses.

    Ignoring the problem or attempting to change it with harsh confrontation often makes the emotional, financial and physiological problems that accompany the substance abuse even worse.

    CRAFT: An approach that gets people into treatment

    There is an alternate, non-confrontational, scientifically-validated approach to managing the problem. This approach is outlined in the books Get Your Loved One Sober: Alternatives to Nagging, Pleading, and Threatening  and Beyond Addiction, How Science & Kindness Help People Change. Using Community Reinforcement And Family Training (CRAFT) these books teach family members and friends how to improve their own lives while at the same time providing skills for improving their relationship with their loved one. In repeated clinical trials, CRAFT’s approach proved twice as likely Continue reading

    Self-Empowered Approach to Addiction Recovery

    Posted on August 5, 2014

    Self-Empowered Approach to Addiction Recovery
    Tom Horvath, President of SMART Recovery, on learning to gain control over urges

    Self-Empowered Approach to Addiction Recovery

    Tom Horvath, Ph.D., a California licensed and board certified clinical psychologist (ABPP), has been President of SMART Recovery® for well over a decade. He is the founder and president of Practical Recovery, a self-empowering addiction treatment system in San Diego. He is past president of the American Psychological Association’s Society on Addiction Psychology (Division 50), the world’s largest organization of addiction psychologists. He is the author of Sex, Drugs, Gambling & Chocolate: A Workbook for Overcoming Addictions (listed by the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies as a “Self-Help Book of Merit”). Continue reading

    “Am I Going Crazy?!”

    Posted on July 29, 2014

    PAWS: Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome
    by Bill Abbott & Suzy W., SMART Recovery Meeting Facilitators

    Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) is something that perhaps unfortunately, we haven’t discussed much in SMART Recovery®. It is a not yet widely known problematic syndrome (syndrome is a medical term which describes a grouping of varying symptoms) of addiction recovery. The following scenario can illustrate it:

      You’ve been through detox and all of the withdrawal symptoms and you are doing pretty well for perhaps a month or two. Suddenly, you start to realize that you’re feeling edgy and antsy. You are experiencing mood swings that range from being on a pink cloud to feeling down in the dumps. You find that you can’t concentrate. You are having trouble sleeping, you’re sleeping too much, or you’re having very vivid dreams. “What’s going on?” you wonder. “Am I going crazy?!”

    No, you’re not going crazy. You are suffering from what is known as PAWS (Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome). Unfortunately, as noted above, we don’t often hear much about it in the recovery community even though it is an extremely common experience.

    We know that recovery progresses in stages. After the initial acute withdrawal, Continue reading